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Fellows/ESR at the SPECTRA CE

Early stage researchers, supervisors and the project topics.

Stefan Telle



Stefan has received a degree in Global Studies from the universities of Leipzig (Germany) and Roskilde (Denmark). His main research interest is the cultural political economy of European integration. Particularly, he is interested in the production of space through changing modes of de- and re-regulation. Stefan is researching “Fuzziness and softness in spatial patterns of regional policies” (ESR 2) at the Technical University of Slovakia in Bratislava.

Project: Fuzziness and softness in spatial patterns of regional policies

Description: The ongoing integration processes in the EU, and in CEE in particular, have led to a “fuzzification” and a softening of existing territorial and functional borders when it comes to the formation of new regional policies (i.e. for metropolitan areas). The project aims at exploring the connections between the emerging mode of „experimentalist governance“ in the European Union (EU) as a political mechanism of interest coordination / conflict management and the (in)efficiency of Cohesion Policy in dealing with socio-spatial polarization, particularly in the new member states. As such, it is assumed that the essentially open-ended nature of experimentalist-deliberative consensus-seeking may lead to frictions and inconsistencies with the fixed objectives and conditionalities attached to Cohesion Policy.

Thus, it is argued that European integration gives rise to a new issue-driven type of territoriality (territoriality none the less). A characteristic of this new type of territoriality is that soft spaces may be formed, may harden and soften again, and may be dissolved to the degree that they are meaningful in tackling specific issues, which cut across the traditional (geographic /administrative) boundaries of the member states. This is an essentially open ended process in which issue-driven territoriality is constantly reshaping and redefining centers and peripheries.

The implications of this process on the socio-spatial development within the Union will be the object of empirical research. By focusing on cases from the Czech Republic, Germany, and Slovakia a comparative research design is proposed to analyze the making and unmaking of soft spaces through European territorial cooperation: cross-border cooperation, transnational cooperation, and interregional cooperation.

The project involves secondments at MEPCO and at the IfL.

Supervisor:  prof. Maroš Finka - SPECTRA Centre of Excellence EU


Martin Špaček


His previous research activities referred to the issues of funding of non-governmental organizations and regional development in the Czech Republic. He has also participated in several projects concerned with impact evaluations of Czech public expenditure programmes funded from EU Structural Funds.

Project: Multilevel governance for balanced development between core and peripheral spaces

Description: Multilevel governance is seen as a promising approach for the development of European metropolitan areas.However, up to now only little is known about the conditions which allow for successful cooperation between actors from the core region and the surrounding areas that aim at balancing out regional disparities. In this respect, project 9 will analyse innovative approaches in multilevel governance in the Slovak Republic, the Czech Republic and Germany.

Supervisor:  assoc. prof. Tatiana Kluvánková - Institute of management, Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava